Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation v. Todd et al

Filing 5

ORDER that the Clerk of the Court shall REMAND the present action back to Maricopa County Superior Court. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 12/7/2011. (Attachments: # 1 Remand Letter)(KMG)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation,) ) its successors and/or assigns, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) Sandra Todd, ) ) Defendant. ) ) No. CV-11-2382-PHX-GMS ORDER 15 The present action was improperly removed and the Court lacks subject-matter 16 jurisdiction over it; accordingly, the Court remands this case to Maricopa County Superior 17 Court. 18 Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, having subject-matter jurisdiction 19 only over those matters specifically authorized by Congress or the Constitution. Kokkonen 20 v. Guardian Life Ins. Co., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). As the proponent of the Court's 21 jurisdiction, the removing defendant bears the burden of establishing it. Abrego Abrego v. 22 The Dow Chemical Co., 443 F.3d 676, 685 (9th Cir. 2006). 23 Although the Notice of Removal states that a claim in the present action arises under 24 federal law, a review of the complaint reveals that it is a straightforward forcible detainer, 25 otherwise known as an eviction action. And while it appears that Defendant Sandra Todd 26 (“Defendant”) may assert a federal defense based on due process, the assertion of a federal 27 defense to a state-law claim does not convert the state-law claim into one “arising under” 28 federal law for purposes of federal question jurisdiction. See Moore-Thomas v. Alaska 1 Airlines, Inc., 553 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 2009) (discussing the “well-pleaded complaint 2 rule”). Therefore, the Court has no federal question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 3 (conferring on federal courts subject-matter jurisdiction over cases arising under federal law). 4 To the extent that the Notice of Removal purports to invoke the Court’s diversity 5 jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, the requirements for diversity jurisdiction are also not 6 satisfied. In order to invoke the Court’s diversity jurisdiction, a defendant must show both 7 that she and plaintiff are not residents of the same state, and that the amount in controversy 8 exceeds $75,000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (setting forth requirements for diversity jurisdiction). 9 In addition, even when there is diversity between the parties, a federal court may not exercise 10 jurisdiction where the moving defendant is a resident of the forum state. 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b). 11 Here, the Court need not decide whether there is diversity between the parties or whether the 12 amount in controversy requirement is met as Defendant reports her address as the property 13 at issue in this action (located in Chandler, Arizona); thus, she is clearly a forum defendant 14 who may not remove a state-court action. See id. 15 In the absence of subject-matter jurisdiction, this Court is empowered to sua sponte 16 order summary remand. See 28 U.S.C. § 1446(c)(4) (requiring district courts to examine 17 notices of removal and their exhibits and authorizing summary remand in appropriate 18 circumstances); 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (requiring district courts to remand cases if it appears, 19 at any time before final judgment is entered, that the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction). 20 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall REMAND the 21 present action back to Maricopa County Superior Court. 22 DATED this 7th day of December, 2011. 23 24 25 26 27 28 -2-

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